When’s the best time to go?
One of the most popular holiday hotspots in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a heady mix of beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, amazing architecture and a rich cultural history. Whether you’re going for the Carnival in Santa Domingo or to soak up the sun on Bávaro Beach, the best Dominican Republic travel advice we can give you is to book your ticket as soon as possible. With temperatures that average around 25°C all year round (and climb higher during the summer), holidays to the Dominican Republic are warm at any time of year.
For cooler sightseeing conditions with a minimal chance of rain, book your break between December and the end of February. During these months you’ll still have temperatures of around 25°C.
Between February and April things start to hot up, with the temperature climbing into the high 20s and low 30s°C. As the heat increases, so do the crowds, so the early part of the season is better if you’re looking for a quiet break. The rainy season hits between May and September.
What should I pack?
Put sunscreen and mosquito repellent at the top of your list. While the mosquitoes aren’t that plentiful, they are part of island life, and coming home with itchy bites can be enough to put a dampener on your holiday. Similarly, sunscreen will help protect you against burning.
When it comes to clothing, think light and airy. Clothing made from linen and cotton is ideal, and long-sleeved tops and trousers and dresses can offer protection from the sun.
As one of the most picturesque places on the planet, it would be a shame to take a holiday to the Dominican Republic and not bring your camera: we recommend packing an extra SD memory card as well. It might also be worth bringing an adaptor plug for any electrical devices you want to take on your break.
Passports and visas
Do I need a passport?
Dominican Republic passport laws require British citizens to have a valid UK passport to gain entry to the country. In addition, your passport should have at least six months validity left on it after the final day of travel. For further information on the entry requirements for holidays to the Dominican Republic, visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/dominican-republic/entry-requirements
Do I need a visa?
If you’re visiting for less than 30 days, you’ll need a Dominican Republic visa. Also known as a Tourist Card, this can be included in the price of your flight or, if you’d prefer, you can purchase it on arrival. To find out more about the Dominican Republic visa, look at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/dominican-republic/entry-requirements
Health and Safety
Should I get travel health insurance?
Wherever you’re going on your holidays, travel health insurance is a must. It ensures that in the event of a medical problem, the money is there for you to get treatment, medicines and, if necessary, repatriation to the UK. However, it’s worth checking exactly what yours does and doesn’t cover, so you can make any changes to get the best cover, especially if you’re planning to do any ‘extreme sports’.
Any other tips?
- While brushing your teeth with tap water should be fine, it’s advisable not to drink anything other than bottled water. Similarly, avoid salads that may have been washed in tap water, and ice cubes in your drinks.
- If you want to drink like a local, look out for mamajuana. Made from rum, red wine, honey and herbs, it’s a heady brew originally drunk by the Taíno Indians for its reported health benefits.
- Dominicans seem to be effortlessly stylish, especially in the evenings. While you won’t need formal attire, it’s worth packing something snazzy for those balmy Caribbean nights.
- While the locals tend to speak a little English, it’s worth taking a Spanish phrasebook or a language app. A well-placed ‘muchas gracias’ can go a long way.
- For a taste of the famous Caribbean nightlife, make your way to Santa Domingo. By day, it’s buzzing with tourists who come to see the old, colonial buildings. By night, the bars and clubs burst into life and keep the party going until the early hours.